The narrative around Music Education at the moment is dreadful. Schools are making cuts, colleagues are losing jobs and music is being wiped out in some areas. This is awful, tragic, and must end NOW!
I want to say that my heart truly goes out to those who are being affected by all of this. I can’t believe that good, hard working music teachers are literally losing their roles over night. This is something that I never thought would happen and I feel so blessed to have a job that I love. I don’t take it for granted at all.
My only thought is that whilst we need to highlight these tragic situations, we also need to look at the success stories and change the narrative. I want to read more about where music is alive, where music is thriving. I want to be inspired by stories of teachers over-coming the cuts and the changes. But I fear that I will be shouted down for asking for that. It is not that I don’t care, I really really do. But I want to be inspired and more importantly I want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing music education can be.
So I wonder if we can start to flood blogs and social media with stories of success, with positives narratives about where music is working, and why. I would love to hear from colleagues who are doing new and innovative things. I would love to read about projects that are working, about initiatives that are reaching students and about teachers that are pushing ahead in difficult situations.
Because I worry.
I worry that if we don’t start to flood our feeds, walls and blogs with the positives, that we will end up in a spiral of decline. We need to do something before this happens. There may be schools and colleagues that are hanging on in there and just need that boost of passion from a fellow teacher or that fresh idea to kick start something new.
I know it might not be that easy and I know that schools may just cut music over night – and again I think this is a shocking and ridiculous thing to do.
But what if we could do something. What if we could really show the education sector the value of music. What if tomorrow we all took to twitter to show all the amazing things we were doing. What if music teachers were given a boost of inspiration that got them through to the end of term ready to embark on new projects and schemes in the new term. What if we could change our sector by showing how amazing we are.
We must support colleagues who are in difficult situations and I want to do all I can to do that. But we must also raise up, promote and shout from the rooftops about colleagues who are succeeding, or who are fighting against the odds. I want to read about people who have battled against budget cuts or other setbacks. I need to be inspired by them.
The future, well that is a little uncertain for us, more so for some than others. But I think we can change it. I think we can show this nation, this government and more importantly our students, that music is essential. We can show them that we need music in our schools and it is worth fighting for.
So will you help me change the narrative? Will you help me spread the power of music education? Will you go online tomorrow and share stories of colleagues you know that are doing an amazing job? Will you tag someone on twitter and just say how brilliant they are or write a blog about the way music impacts your school?
I will read it, I will share it and I will learn from it.
Last night I had my end of term concert at school. It has been a long hard term and every music teacher knows the pressures of coursework. But last night I stopped and reminded myself that I truly love my job and I love this sector. It breaks my heart that it is being eroded, and I just want to see an end to that. When it is tough I just think of all the success stories over the years. When I feel tired I remember all the times that I got through it. I want to share those things, but I also want to read about them. So share them with us and with the world so that we can all pull together to fight against this tidal wave of cuts.
Let’s change the narrative and try and stop the erosion of music. And please know that my heart goes out to colleagues that have had their departments ripped apart – I do know some of the devastation of that. But I want to make sure that we do something about it. We can’t wait. We have to rise up! We have to stand together for music education, and we have to do it now!